City Strike Quick Kick
It’s hard to believe that only four short years ago, the Joe brand had such ridiculously strong retail support. I’m not saying that to sound bitter, but it’s a little disappointing how weak the 50th Anniversary line roll out was compared to what the line was during the shift from Rise of Cobra into Pursuit of Cobra. Rise of Cobra had a wide array of retail exclusive and Pursuit of Cobra had a couple different sets of Toys ‘R’ Us exclusives. I’ll freely admit, I wanted both Quick Kick and Spirit badly. Spirit was pretty prevalent, but I only saw Quick Kick once and that was the day I bought him. In fact, the day I bought him, I bumped into a Joe fan that worked at the Toys ‘R’ Us I bought him from and he noticed him in my hands and was excited to see that there was a new Quick Kick figure out. I didn’t have the heart to tell the guy I’d snagged the only one left in the store. It definitely says something about a figure’s popularity when a person that works at the store that stocks it hasn’t seen it before. City Strike Quick Kick is a great figure and was apparently extremely popular since I never saw him that often.
City Strike Quick Kick epitomizes everything that was wonderful about the Pursuit of Cobra line. No longer bound by nostalgia, the Hasbro folks were able to take some fan favorite figures and put a new spin on them that really freshened up the characters. I always remember thinking that characters not wearing much clothing like Quick Kick and Night Creeper Leader were a bit ridiculous. You’d think you’d at least want a shirt when you’re waging war, but then add in Quick Kick’s lack of shoes and it just crosses the line into crazy town for me. Don’t get me wrong, the 1985 Quick Kick look is iconic, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most combat-ready look. City Strike Quick Kick manages to find a way to reference the original shirtless look, but also has an added shirt so he can look a little more like a soldier and a little less like a male stripper. Quick Kick’s legs come from the first Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow. It’s a great way to handle it. The legs are pretty basic and they’re clearly loose pants, something you’d want to wear as a ninja so you have full range of motion. Thankfully, Quick Kick decided to throw on some sneakers this time, and I think that’s for the best. It’s a simple look, but at the same time it really works. Quick Kick’s torso and arms come from the 25th Anniversary version, so that means he’s shirtless and has bare arms. The torso nicely sculpted piece and is realistically detailed (something that couldn’t be said for that terrible 25th Anniversary Gung-Ho torso). The arms have a wiry strength to them, again something that fits well for Quick Kick’s character. To spice things up and make him a bit more usable, though, Quick Kick uses the hands from the Resolute pack Storm Shadow. It’s not a big change from the 25th Anniversary version, but it does allow Quick Kick to have two hands that can hold things. I appreciate that Hasbro gave him the karate chop left hand on the 25th Anniversary version, but I really do prefer two non-posed hands. If you don’t want Quick Kick running around shirtless, he’s got a removable shirt (called an uwagi according to YoJoe’s accessory listing). It’s a decently-sculpted piece, though it does look a bit bulkier than a shirt like that would probably be in real life. I’m sure it’s a conceit to making it removable, but if I’m honest with myself, I’d almost prefer that he have a torso sculpted to look like his removable shirt, but it’s a decent solution to please both the people that think shirtlessness is one of Quick Kick’s defining traits and people like me who’d prefer he put a shirt on while he’s fighting Cobra. The head is shared with the 25th Anniversary of Quick Kick and considering how well they nailed his look the first time, that’s a great call. Why reinvent the wheel when you figured it out on your first shot? It’s a great piece and even
though it was a 25th Anniversary piece, it’s still detailed enough that it doesn’t look out of place when Quick Kick is hanging out with the Pursuit of Cobra figures. The final thing I have to say about this figure’s construction is that he is very poseable. Some of the ninja figures released in the modern line haven’t always been that moveable, but Quick Kick can get into all sorts of great martial arts fighting poses and that’s definitely a big plus in my mind.
Quick Kick’s great design is only augmented by the paint work they did on him. Right off the bat, though, I will say that I wish they’d used the tanner skin tone they gave the 25th Anniversary Quick Kick for City Strike Quick Kick. I think this Quick Kick is even paler than his 1985 release, and that’s saying something. Beyond that, though, I can’t fault Hasbro with the rest of their color choices. At its most basic, this version of Quick Kick wears a lot of black. It’s a good ninja color, so I’m fine with it. However, to keep him from looking too bland, he’s also got a bit of yellow trim on the pants, shoes and shirt and a red waist sash, which is a nice reference to his classic look. Back in the day, Quick Kick wore black pants and a red sash and that’s what he’s wearing now. Without the shirt on, you’ll also notice that he’s got some scars painted on his chest. It looks like he got raked across the left pec with a set of claws while there are three, wider scars across his abs. Quick Kick has clearly seen some pretty wicked action in combat. I’ll admit, I’d prefer it if the scars were sculpted details because they look more natural that way, but I’m okay with them being painted on here. My Quick Kick doesn’t take off his shirt, so it doesn’t matter that much to me. The paint detail I really love is found on his shirt. On his chest, he’s got the original Joe “Kung-Fu Grip” symbol. I don’t know why, but a throwback to that makes me smile here. I was far too young to have Joes of that nature, but I like that the Pursuit of Cobra line threw in a classic-era Easter egg like this…which is sadly more than what the 50th Anniversary line did for the original Joes. Quick Kick is an excellent looking figure and the paint work really helps make him seem a bit more effective as a ninja than his original design.
While it doesn’t look like much on paper, Quick Kick really does have quite a few accessories and they’re all great and make sense. Starting off small, Quick Kick gets a pair of gloves he can slip on over his hands. I love these because of my love of previously-canceled tooling. At Joe Con 2009, Hasbro revealed a version of Duke in training gear from Rise of Cobra. It wasn’t a super great figure, but it had some pretty cool accessories. One of the neatest was a pair of padded gloves that could slip over his hands. While that figure never saw the light of day because the Tatum-headed Duke ran afoul of likeness rights issues, Hasbro found a way to get them out that makes sense. The gloves are similar to the padded gloves MMA fighters use in the ring. They blunt the force of a blow a bit and protect the fighter’s hands, but they don’t blunt it quite as much as a traditional boxing glove. I can see Quick Kick using gloves like these while he’s training other Joes in various martial arts. Quick Kick’s primary firearm is MAC-10 submachine gun. It’s the same one that 25th Anniversary Mutt came with. It fits with Quick Kick’s style since it’s compact and light weight but it’s also got some stopping power and is silenced so he’s not going to draw as much attention if he has to use it while sneaking in to a Cobra facility. Because he’s Quick Kick, he’s also packing a few ninja weapons. First off, he’s got a great set of nunchuks. Quick Kick has come with nunchuks since 1985 and I’m glad he’s continuing the tradition here. While they’re not the most efficient martial weapon, they definitely make an impression. When brandished by someone who knows how to use them, they look really dangerous. Finally, across his back, Quick Kick has a very long sword and sheath. I’m not sure if there’s a particular name for this kind of sword, but its blade is really long—the blade is long enough that placed with the point on the figure stand, the base of the hilt reaches all the way up to his hip. That’s a pretty long blade right there. I can see Quick Kick being quite adept with a bit longer bladed weapon for some reason. I don’t know why, but I tend to think that fighting effectively with shorter bladed weapons requires a bit more finesse and while Quick Kick may be a good martial artist, the Joe comic showed pretty definitively that he was nowhere as good as Storm Shadow.
I’ll admit, I never really had any attachment to Quick Kick. He came out a bit before my brother’s time in the Joe line. The only times I remember him were from a couple cartoon appearances where he was honestly kind of annoying. However, this Quick Kick figure has really turned me into a Quick Kick fan. This is a wonderful modern interpretation of a fan-favorite Joe character that manages to reference his classic look while not feeling the need to accurately recreate it and instead add in some modern flair. This is a version of Quick Kick that looks just as good in the training room as he does on the battlefield and it’s great to finally be able to say that about Quick Kick.